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Subject: Actual Film from 1930
I have just viewed two original nitrate prints of this film (one of them being this exact print) and have discovered several interesting things:
1. This print is actually from 1931, not 1940 by the Kodak edge markings, The opening titles are spliced on and are from a later date, probably where the error in dating comes in.
2. The two prints, although similar in content, are not the same and have different narration tracks. The narrator on this one sounds like the actor Wilfred Lucas, who did many travelogues at this time and does have quite a mellifluous tone and delivery. The other print, which dates from 1930 and is tinted yellow, has a very flat-voiced and dull narrator, so the 1931 print may have been an attempt to tart it up a bit and pluck at the heart-strings of those who had attended just 15 years earlier.
At any rate, this is great footage of a long-gone exposition and worthy of preservation--both versions
Subject: Great footage but oh that soundtrack
Some wonderful and very historic footage including the likes of Ford, Edison and early aviation. The narration was tolerable but the persistent violin solo was quite unnerving. Still very worthwhile but keep the sound low.
Subject: Interesting, but the presentation too overly sentimental
Frank W. Vail's overly sentimental production of the Pana Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915. Made in 1940, I suppose some people at that time liked the nostalgic treatment of this event that had taken place 25 years before. The violin music and narrator's emotional inflection seems corny now. The motion pictures of the fair, however, are interesting.
Subject: Cuuuuuuuuue the violin!
A particularily bizarre look at the 1915 San Fransisco Worlds Fair, I say that because while the images are fascinating to look at, it's totally weighed down by the narration which borders on the ridiculous at times ("Housing straaaaaaaaaange and beautiful plants...") and also the music, which is just one long drawn out violin solo. It's a particularily bad choice for such exciting footage, I have absolutely no idea why they would choose something like that for this. Anyways..